Third Order Franciscans

The Secular Franciscan Order of the St. John Capistrano Fraternity is a group of lay men and women, young, old, married and unmarried, who follow the rule of St. Francis according to their state in life. This group is officially recognized in the life of the Church under the title of “public associations of Christ’s faithful”.” It is a Canonical Order of the Church.

The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is this: To observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and center of his life with God and people. Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to Him, the truth, into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which He has come to give abundantly. Secular Franciscans devote themselves especially to careful reading of the Gospels, going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel.

For those considering becoming a Secular Franciscan, formation study is a minimum of 2 years. That time is used in prayer, study, and reflection to discern if God is calling one to a permanent vocation to this way of life. Once the candidate is ready to make a public profession, it is done during a Mass. The candidate vows to live a Gospel life according to the charism of St. Francis of Assisi. They are not bound by public vows as a religious order, but live abiding by the Rule and General Constitution as set up by The Apostolic See. This Rule was most recently revised by Pope Paul VI.

Each October 3, the Secular Franciscans have a Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi. This commemorates St. Francis’ death to eternal life.
At each meeting of the Secular Franciscans, the group prays, learns about Christ, St. Francis and St. Clare and themselves. They meet at Most Holy Redeemer on the second Saturday of each month in the Patio Room. The meeting starts after the 8:30 a.m. Mass. Currently they are approximately 25 professed Secular Franciscans.

For more information, contact April Fiore, OFS Formation Director at 813.713.8685 (aprilfiore@yahoo.com) or Shirley Conway, OFS Minister at 813.988.2688 (ismc0834@aol.com)